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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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not fit in with Moscow's intentions regarding Poland, and its suppression
was only a matter of time—it was, in fact, started by Moscow without
further delay in those areas already flooded by the Russian armies and cut
oil from all the normal channels of communication with the world.
Although the destruction of the Home Army had been undertaken in
complete silence by the Soviets, and was not reported by their Press., the
Polish Underground could not be spirited away in a few days,, therefore,
news of the Soviet's actions against this Army spread like wild-fire
throughout Poland. Wilno was a case in point. The part which the
troops of the Home Army had played in bringing about the fall of this
town was not mentioned by the Russians ; on the contrary Moscow press
and radio enthusiastically acclaimed it as the c liberation of the capital of
the Lithuanian Soviet Republic ' by their Red Army. The Polish action
was, generally speaking, placed to the credit of supposed Lithuanian
partisans. " The Lithuanian people, by their struggle, have voted daily
for a Soviet Lithuania," wrote Prcrcda ambiguously. No country in
Europe is more Catholic or nationalist than Lithuania, nor more opposed
to the Russian regime, and statements of this kind could hardly be taken
in earnest.
By the end of July, 1944, Marshal Rokossovsky's armies had rapidly
approached the Vistula, and there was every hope that they would soon
cross the river and occupy Warsaw. If at this moment the Polish Home
Army in the capital could then begin its action against the occupant, it
could proceed to gain control of the most important railway centre on the
Vistula and cut off the Germans in their further retreat behind the river.
This idea had also evidently occurred to Moscow, for, in addition to the
usual routine appeals, the Soviet ladio now made a special point of calling
on the Poles in Warsaw to rise and take up arms £ against the oppressor,3
despite the fact that Moscow had opposed the continuation of British
armament supplies to the Home Army after the Teheran Conference.
These specific appeals to Warsaw began from June 2—a typical broadcast
on July 30 ran :—
" Warsaw is trembling from the noise of guns. The Soviet armies are
going forward. They are already in front of the Praga suburb. They are
coming as liberators. The Germans expelled from Praga will endeavour
to make a stand inside the capital. They will destroy everything. A rising
in Warsaw will be the signal for a mass attack on the Germans. Everyone
in the capital must be enlisted in the Army of Resistance to stop the destruc-
tion of public buildings by the Germans. All must help the Red Army to
cross the Vistula by giving information and easing the crossing of the river.
The million inhabitants of Warsaw must convert themselves into an army
of a million, fighting for freedom and death to the invader.
" Those who have never bowed their heads to the Hitlerite power,"
blared Moscow, " will again, as in 1939, join battle against the ^Germans,
this time for the decisive action . . . For Warsaw, who has not yielded but
fought on, the hour of action has already arrived ..."